Wednesday, 24 March 2021
Department of Rural and Community Development
2098. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the total Covid-19-related spend in 2020 by her Department, agency and budget line item; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16280/21]
The Government is aware of the challenges facing community and voluntary organisations and is committed to working closely with the sector in managing through these challenges, recognising that it will require a whole of Government approach. Along with other broader Government initiatives, my Department provided a range of supports in 2020 to assist community and voluntary organisations in dealing the impact of Covid-19.
The provisional gross outturn for my Department in 2020 was €359.42 million. Of this, €152.73 million was spent within the rural development programme area and €202.51 million within the community development area. The remaining €4.17 million funded the Charities Regulatory Authority.
With regard to Covid-19 related expenditure, given the role of my Department in supporting the economic and social development of rural Ireland, and supporting community development throughout Ireland, all of our existing funding schemes have supported the response to, and recovery from, the pandemic in some way. For example, our existing funding for the LEADER programme ensures continued support for the economic recovery in rural Ireland, and the Community Services Programme has helped maintain vital community services throughout the pandemic. However, there were a number of specific targeted measures in 2020 which aimed to directly support the response and recovery. The main focus was on community development supports, and the increase in gross expenditure for that programme area, from €149.73 million in 2019 up to the €202.51 million spent in 2020, reflects that.
Existing and additional funding has provided strong support for the broad community and voluntary sector, and helped to ensure that vital supports and services are maintained both throughout the pandemic, and as we recover from its impacts.
The table below provides details of supports provided by my Department or agencies under its remit through existing funding or additional funding provided to specifically target the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. For completeness I have also provided details on spend by my Department or its Agencies with regard to compliance with public health and safety guidelines in the workplace.